Cold Ashby Blog/Open Forum

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Normandy Landings: Sgt. Henry Greaves 1912 -1944

by Ashby Rambler - 15:13 on 03 June 2019

The Rambler’s research suggests that Sgt. Henry Greaves, whose death is recorded in Cold Ashby’s Roll of Honour and inscribed on the Memorial Hall plaque (pictured) was most probably Sgt. Herbert Henry Greaves who served in the 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps.

According to this webpage , Henry died of his wounds on Sunday 25th June 1944.

Below is an extract from the above webpage:

The Derbyshire Yeomanry landed in Normandy during D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Derbyshire Yeomanry was serving as a divisional Reconnaissance Regiment, attached to 51st (Highland) Division. After landing in Normandy, 51st (Highland) Division was moved across Pegasus Bridge to the east bank of the River Orne. There it was to strengthen the bridgehead of the 6th Airborne Division, which had been under extreme pressure since D-Day from 21 Panzer-Division and the freshly-arrived 346 Infantry-Division. After a disastrous first battle at Breville on 10 June, the division was moved in on the southern flank of the bridgehead and into the Escoville Triangle. The 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry guarded bridges but took part in the bitter fighting for the villages of Escoville and Herouvillette, being employed mainly in an infantry role. In four days, casualties were almost 50, including the CO, Lt Col RH Palmer, but three MCs and four MMs were awarded.


The diary entry for 25/6/44 has the following:

Heavy shelling of RHQ area. Sgt. Greaves wounded, several vehicles damaged…

If my findings are correct (and do please contact me if you have evidence to the contrary or more information) Henry was one of the 25 men and women from Cold Ashby who served their country in the Second World War … he appears to be the only one not to make it back.

As the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings approaches, the Rambler believes it is important to remember, with gratitude, all those who served in that dreadful but unavoidable conflict.

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